Reforming the Apprenticeship Levy and committing to scale up ongoing hospitality skills pilot schemes could reduce vacancies, according to UKHospitality.
New data released by the Office for National Statistics today shows vacancies in accommodation and food service activities increased to 121,000, after five months of consecutive decreases. Vacancies remain more than 30,000 above pre-pandemic levels.
UKHospitality is calling for the Government to:
- Commit to scaling up skills pilot projects currently running with the Department for Work and Pensions, which are showing early success.
- Reform the Apprenticeship Levy to allow 25% of funds to be used for non-apprenticeship training and to allow a modular approach to delivery.
- Instigate Youth Mobility Scheme agreements with a range of European nations.
UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said:
“Staff shortages remain a significant challenge for hospitality businesses, causing many to operate far below full capacity.
“This surprise increase in vacancies demonstrates the fluctuations that remain in the labour market and the need for action to help businesses get people into work.
“As the third largest employer in the UK, implementing these measures will unlock thousands of job opportunities. Not only is hospitality well placed to kickstart someone’s career but it can help bring people back into the workforce too, providing a key solution to an economy-wide challenge.
“Government action in these areas would be a clear signal it is prepared to help businesses resolve a key issue, as well as keeping venues at the heart of their communities thriving.”